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I had the most wonderful Valentine’s Day this year, as soon as Mr. X… left town! No fooling. I love him madly, and wish that he had been here, that day and the rest of the week, as well, but the Femme Fatales were there for me. (Sandy even brought me thoughtful Valentine’s gifts!)

Ingrid's Cafe

Anyway, to cheer myself up (and feel like one of those stupid shows where super-busy executive chicks always have time to all meet for lunch and drinks every day), three of us went over to the fabulous Ingrid’s Café, right here in Beverly Hills for my favorite meal, afternoon tea.

Let me tell you, this gracious woman really knows how to do it right! Especially since she served it all in courses, rather than at once on a triple-tiered dish, which is totally acceptable, but not special. I learned to take tea when I lived in Malta (don’t ask!) which was once an English colony, and that’s how it was done.

More on the food later. First let me set the scene. (What am I??? Agatha Christie all of a sudden?) Ingrid’s is across from the Peninsula Hotel and is a quaint, charming, romantic establishment that serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and sunset delight. When you walk in, there are about five tables for two and the pastry counter. A couple of sidewalk tables, as well.
But to us, the A spot is the secret upstairs, which is sort-of private, but with a view of it all, including the fabulous old world chandelier. Eadie exclaimed, “Very European,” while Sandy, who arrived late, so didn’t know our earlier verdict, walked in and exclaimed, “Parisian!” Great minds…

Ingrid's Cafe table settings

I just declared, “Give me food!” But what else is new? The table was set magnificently, with some utensils and accoutrements that were new to even ME, the tea maven of all time.
We chose the Tea For Two, and one French Royal, since there were three of us. We started with champagne, then moved on to my favorite tea in the world, Harney and Sons’ White Grapefruit Vanilla. It’s the only tea that I truly love. Sandy chose Jasmine, and was thrilled with it.
Then came the tea sandwiches. I’ve honestly never seen such a variety in all my tea-taking time! When it came to naming our favorites, we really had trouble choosing just one each. They were all so creative and delicious. Sandy cited the carrot and ginger, Eadie went with the curried chicken, and I went with the separate goat cheese, turkey, and cucumber ones. (Leave it to me to pick three to their one each.)
Then came the scones with home-made clotted cream, that Sandy loved the most, and jams that were actually made from whole figs and plums. Very unusual.
The sweets tray also had quite the variety of bite-sized morsels. For once in my life, I was too full, but the ladies went to town on them. I’ve actually never seen Sandy so happy. (Something her husband might want to look into.) (Just joking on that one - she’s married to my former sports radio partner, Fred Wallin, so I still love to rib him.)

Ingrid's cafe desserts

We were so relaxed that we wound-up staying there for three hours! When we finally walked down the stairs and took a glance at the pastries on the way out, we just had to get one each to go. Sounds like too much, I know, but hey - Mr. X is going to be out of town for a week and a girl’s got to have some company. Better a chocolate mousse pastry than Nick Lachey. Wait, let me re-think that one…
Ingrid’s Café 9861 S Santa Monica Blvd. BH  310-277-9377

This place has been open for at least six months now, so I was surprised to find out that they were having an opening party last week! Most of the food was served off the body of a naked woman, so obviously, I didn’t have any. And there were few passed tidbits. So I can’t tell you anything of the place.
But something really fun happened that I must share. I met someone whom I had seen only on TV, and not talking that much, but Mr. X and I had the impression that she was darling. And we were correct!
While I was stalking the kitchen door, I noticed a group of guys with a really cute blonde girl. I was pretty sure I recognized her, but didn’t see her husband, and he’s the reason she’s known. I looked harder, and saw him right there, holding her hand and stealing a kiss, so I knew I was right about who she is - Mrs. Chris Daughtry! Deanna, to give her her proper respect.
And she’s adorable! I want over and said, “I recognized you, not your husband,” and she was so cute about it. We talked until they had to leave, and when they return here this summer, she just may make it to My New Best Friend status. We agreed about everything that night, so we could just make a powerful duo. Los Angeles - you’ve been warned! ;)
Hadaka Sushi 8226 Sunset Blvd. 323.822.2601

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